Wide Dissatisfaction with Capitalism
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Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, a new BBC World Service global poll finds that dissatisfaction with free market capitalism is widespread, with an average of only 11% across 27 countries saying that it works well and that greater regulation is not a good idea.
In only two countries do more than one in five feel that capitalism works well as it standsthe US (25%) and Pakistan (21%).
The most common view is that free market capitalism has problems that can be addressed through regulation and reforma view held by an average of 51% of more than 29,000 people polled by GlobeScan/PIPA.
An average of 23% feel that capitalism is fatally flawed, and a new economic system is neededincluding 43% in France, 38% in Mexico, 35% in Brazil and 31% in Ukraine.
Furthermore, majorities would like their government to be more active in owning or directly controlling their country’s major industries in 15 of the 27 countries. This view is particularly widely held in countries of the former Soviet states of Russia (77%), and Ukraine (75%), but also Brazil (64%), Indonesia (65%), and France (57%).
Majorities support governments distributing wealth more evenly in 22 of the 27 countries on average two out of three (67%) across all countries. In 17 of the 27 countries most want to see government doing more to regulate businesson average 56%.
The poll also asked about whether the breakup of the Soviet Union was a good thing or not. While an average of 54% say it was a good thing, this is the majority view in only 15 of the countries polled. An average of 22% say it was mainly a bad thing, while 24% do not know.
Among former Warsaw Pact countries, most Russians (61%) and Ukrainians (54%) believe the breakup of the Soviet Union was a bad thing. In contrast, four in five Poles (80%) and nearly two-thirds of Czechs feel the disintegration of the USSR was a good thing (63%).
The results are drawn from a survey of 29,033 adult citizens across 27 countries, conducted for BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan, together with the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland. GlobeScan coordinated fieldwork between 19 June and 13 October 2009
GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller says: “It appears that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 may not have been the crushing victory for free-market capitalism that it seemed at the timeparticularly after the events of the last 12 months.”
For media interviews with the participating pollsters, please contact:
Sam Mountford, Research Director
Doug Miller, Chairman
Steven Kull, Director
GlobeScan Incorporated is a global survey research firm providing strategic advice to companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs, on reputation, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. The company is a world leader in conducting comprehensive survey research in all regions of the world amongst general publics and stakeholders.
The Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) of the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland, undertakes research on attitudes in publics around the world on a variety of international issues and manages the international research project WorldPublicOpinion.org.
The BBC is an international multimedia broadcaster delivering 32 language and regional services. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 188 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. For more information, visit bbcworldservice.com. To find out more about the BBC’s English language offer and subscribe to a free e-newsletter, visit bbcworldservice.com/schedules.